49ers: 5 players who are playing final season with San Francisco
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: 49ers Defensive End Solomon Thomas
It’s no shock the Niners declined to pick up the fifth-year option for their top pick from the 2017 NFL Draft, defensive end Solomon Thomas.
Granted, Thomas endured a tough stretch to open up his NFL career. His rookie season, the 49ers played Thomas out of position, lessening his chances to impact the defense in a way indicative of a No. 3 overall draft pick. The following year, in 2018, Thomas suffered the tragic and premature death of his sister, and any setback from that is more than understandable.
In 2019, however, Thomas emerged as little more than a rotational depth player along a stacked San Francisco defensive line.
With the Niners moving defensive tackle DeForest Buckner via an offseason trade, then selecting South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in Round 1 of this year’s draft, Thomas’ immediate role looks to be the same in 2020: a rotational depth piece along the D-line.
Thomas’ six career sacks over his first three seasons doesn’t suggest a re-sign possibility this offseason. While John Lynch didn’t close the door on Thomas returning in 2021, Lynch didn’t say the team was itching to keep the former first-round pick around for the long term either.
An easy guess would be the 49ers let Thomas walk next season.